Arson suspect arrested in Palo Alto for setting a car and building on fire

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A man has been arrested in Palo Alto for starting two fires within 50 minutes of each other on Saturday evening. 

The suspect has been identified as 37-year-old Osvaldo Madrigal of Menlo Park.

Around 4:18 p.m. a car fire was reported on the 400 block of Curtner Avenue. 

The fire was put out by employees from a nearby business before firefighters and police got there, officials say. 

Police say that the car set on fire was a 2016 Jeep Wrangler.

As police investigated, they saw a man walk into the vacant Compadres Restaurant on the 3800 block of El Camino Real. 

An officer says around 5:08 p.m. smoke started coming from the building.

Palo Alto Fire Department got there and found the fire was burning through the roof.

Officials rescued Madrigal who was still in the building.

The fire was contained around 8:30 p.m. with assistance from the Mountain View Fire Department. 

Traffic on El Camino Real between Curtner Avenue and Ventura Avenue was shut down for several hours, police say.

Madrigal was transported to a nearby hospital due to minor smoke-related injuries. 

During an investigation, police determined Madrigal was responsible for both the car and building fires. 

Police say it appeared that Madrigal may have been illegally squatting in the building.

Madrigal was later booked into Santa Clara County Main jail for two counts of felony arson, misdemeanor trespassing, and a felony probation violation. 

Officials say he had been on probation for assault with a deadly weapon. 



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